20 Rules To Teach My Son

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.

2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.

3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king. Fetch him beers.

4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.

5. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

6. Request the late check-out.

7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

8. Don’t get married before you can legally drink.

9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.

10. Don’t fill up on bread.

11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.

12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.

13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.

14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.

15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family.

16. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.

17. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.

18. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.

19. Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.

20. Don’t show off. Impress.

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Science Confirms: Don’t Go to Sleep Angry [Anger]

The old anecdotal saying that you should never go to sleep angry just got backed up by science, thanks to UMass Amherst neuroscientists. Their study concludes that if you have a negative emotional response—their examples were for viewing an unsettling picture or experiencing a traumatic event—the response is reduced if you stay awake afterwards. If you go to sleep immediately, the response is "protected," meaning that when you are exposed to the effect again, your negative response will be just as negative as the first time. More »


New xkcd items and Christmas delivery

Hey, everyone!

After a long period of quiet, I’ve added a bunch of new stuff to the xkcd store–three shirts, plus a bunch of other things. There’s a shirt based on the unproven Collatz Conjecture, a shirt about centrifuges, and this self-descriptive shirt:



(That one took a lot of careful work to make accurate!)

In addition to the shirts, there’s a poster of my recent gigantic money chart (comic #980), complete with various minor updates and corrections. There are also a few other things I’ve added in the past few weeks, including some [citation needed] stickers and a coffee mug for topology enthusiasts.

Note: We’ll be shipping stuff all through December. The holiday deadline for US orders is December 19th, so you should order before then if you want your stuff by Christmas.

–Randall